Julia Louis-Dreyfus' 'Rolling Stone' Cover & 7 Other Times Hollywood Got History Wrong
By now you know that Julia Louis-Dreyfus' Rolling Stone cover is notable not only for featuring a comedy icon, but for featuring a blatant historical error. Whether or not the inclusion of John Hancock's signature on the Constitution, a document he didn't sign, was intentional or not, it's still pretty funny, if only because it proves that even the editors of a major publication like Rolling Stone would occasionally tune out during their Freshman year history class.
That said, this isn't exactly rocket science. How did no one, at any point in the process of shooting the photo and getting it to print, notice that something was wrong? Do you know how many different people have to give something their John Hancock (ha ha ha) of approval before it ever hits newsstands?
The thing is, JLD and RS aren't the only ones who have let a glaring mistake slip through the cracks- for instance, plenty of successful movies really missed the mark when it came to accurately portraying the time period and events they were trying to depict. Here are just a few films that probably could have used a better fact-checker.
Django's Sweet Shades
It's no secret that Tarantino took a fair amount of liberties with his subject matter when he made Django Unchained. Sure, Jamie Foxx may have looked pretty bad-ass in those flip-up shades, but sunglasses, though invented in China in the 12th Century, were not brought to the U.S. until 1929.
Braveheart: Punchbuggy, No Punchbacks
Braveheart is pretty much one long historical fallacy, but for some reason, no one in the editing room seemed like they were paying attention to the many anachronisms that made their way on screen. In one scene, you can see a crew member wander by wearing a baseball cap. In another, you can see a white car just hanging out in the background of a battle scene. You don't need to be a scholar on Scottish history to know that, unless William Wallace was a time traveler, this is just sloppy filmmaking.
Pocahontas Wasn't Exactly A Love Story
A lot is wrong with Disney's Pocahontas . Like, a lot is wrong, in all kinds of ways. One thing the film did get right, though, is that the real Pocahontas was an extremely interesting historical figure — even if, at the time the film is supposed to take place, she would have been about 11-years old. It may not be a shiny happy Disney story, but if you ask me, the story of an 11-year-old brave enough to throw herself in the way of her father's blade to save a near-stranger is more fascinating by far.
Mulan Is From Every Time Period
I love Disney, but they pretty much could have been this entire list. Putting aside, for a moment, the magical talking dragon, and the even more magical wipe-off make-up (see gif, be jealous), Mulan takes an old Chinese legend and transposes it to, like, three different eras of Chinese history at once. Maybe someone at the studio would have noticed if they weren't too busy signing along to one of the all-time best Disney songs.
The Last Samurai Would Not Have Been A Thing
Even the director admits it.
Gwyneth Wasn't Who Shakespeare Would Have Been In Love With
A) Because she says stuff like "I'd rather smoke crack than eat cheese from a tin" and B) because Shakespeare was almost definitely gay.
Anastasia Is Actually Horrifying
In the movie, Anastasia is a beautiful grown-up lady with Meg Ryan's voice who goes on a fun and exciting adventure to sing, fight a bat, and find her one true love! In real life, she was horribly murdered as a child.
It doesn't get much more historically inaccurate than that.
Images: Rolling Stone; giphy.com